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Church vandalism, shop blaze, accidents, assaults dampen Christmas celebrations


TURA: Late night vandalism of a church door by a drunk youth, loss of two young lives due to rash driving and unruly behavior leading to assault cases were the dampeners of this year’s Christmas celebrations in the Garo Hills.

The vandalism of the outer glass door of the Hawakhana Baptist Church at around 2:30 early Christmas morning by a inebriated youth was caught on the security cameras (CCTV) of the Church.

The backpack carrying unidentified youth, in a fit of drunken stupor, was seen on CCTV footage kicking the door and later throwing a flower pot to break the glass before another youth forcibly takes him away.

“We are already investigating the case and from the CCTV footage it appears the youth was drunk after a night of revelry. We are acquiring further footage for investigation and appropriate action will be taken,” said West Garo Hills Superintendent of Police Dr MGR Kumar while ruling out any form of communal involvement in the incident as the video footage appears to show the culprit unable to control himself.

Church authorities have also indicated that there appears to be no ulterior motive behind the incident as the footage shows the culprit being inebriated.

Two young lives were also lost in separate incidents on account of rash driving on Christmas day in the Garo Hills. A speeding Alto car heading out of Tura town on Christmas morning, approximately 7-8 AM, with four young occupants dashed against the wall of the Ganol dairy farm, near Goeragre, 10 kms from Tura, leading to the death of 24-year-old Whiety Sangma who was seated on the passenger seat. The driver and two other occupants were grievously injured and had to be rushed to Tura Civil Hospital.

The deceased hailed from Gandrak area of Tura’s Chitok locality, police informed.

In another case of rash driving, a 16-year-old who was enjoying a group dance on the middle of Simsang bridge of Baghmara town on Christmas eve night was hit by a passing Scorpio vehicle belonging to a businessman from the town. The youth, identified as James M Sangma of Chitmang Gonggrot village, died in the hospital while the driver of the vehicle was arrested by police on the same night.

Reports of street brawls and assaults were also reported from different place of Garo Hills during a night of celebration and revelry on Christmas night.

In Ringrey market of Tura town, a local elder who tried to contain a commotion was allegedly assaulted by a drunk youth while in Williamnagar town a fight broke out between a group of late night revelers outside a park near the DC office complex leading to one person being taken to hospital with head injuries.

In Tura’s Kabul market area, a fire broke out on Christmas night destroying four petty shops, including a scrap godown and a mutton stall. The fire broke out at around 10 PM and was contained only by 11 in the night thanks to the quick response of the fire brigade.

It is suspected that someone may have thrown a fire cracker or a lit cigarette leading to the fire since all the four shops did not have any electric connection.

Teen run over by bus

Meanwhile, in another road tragedy a day after Christmas, a teenage girl who was accompanying her aunt in a public bus from Rongjeng town and heading towards Jadi village of Nangalbibra in South Garo Hills, fell from the running vehicle and was crushed to death under its wheels at Dobu Rongmu, near Nengkra on Tuesday afternoon.

The deceased, 16 year old Sengbera G Momin of Dimit village on the West Khasi Hills border, was coming to celebrate the New year at her aunt’s place when tragedy struck.

According to Williamnagar police, the young girl had developed motion sickness and wanted to throw up as the bus made its journey. Instead of throwing up from the bus window she went towards the door when she accidently fell off resulting in the back wheels of the bus running over her and crushing her to death.



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